Dine Here News
Deals, Online Ordering and More
Nov 2nd, 2011 - 10AM PT - We just finished an absolutely massive update with lots of new and exciting features!
- New search option: There is a new search function called "offer" that allows you to search restaurants with deals (group buys, coupons. or both), online ordering, online reservations and gift cards. To find it, click on the advanced tab in the header and you will see the drop down box.
- Deals: We have partnered with My Deal Bag and the Entertainment Book to show group buys and coupons for local restaurants. Look for the deal icon on search results and restaurant pages. We are still in the process of tweaking this and will be adding more deals regularly.
- Order online: We have partnered with Just Eat to allow users to order take out and delivery online. You can also view a restaurant's menu if they are using the Just Eat online ordering service. Look for the Just Eat icon on search results and restaurant details page. There is also an "order online" link next to the phone number on the restaurant details page.
- Restaurant page re-organization: we have moved around the content on the restaurant pages and moved a lot of the content into tabs at the bottom including reviews, images, twitter feed, etc. We also added up to 3 images to be displayed just under the restaurant name. This is the first step to a ton of new content and features we will be adding to restaurant pages in the future. Stay tuned..
As always, if you have any comments please let us know.
Sept 8th, 2011 - 4PM PT - We just finished an update that should make considerable performance improvements, fix some bugs and adds a new feature: RSS feeds. We don't actually link to the RSS feeds yet in our web pages but if you use Safari, Firefox or another browser that supports RSS, you might actually see an RSS icon in the URL bar.
August 29th, 2011 - 3PM PT - We just completed an update that adds a new "list" feature and fixes some bugs.
Have you ever seen a restaurant and thought you'd like to try it but then later on, couldn't remember the name? With the new list feature, you can now add a restaurant to your favourite or try list and have Dine Here keep track of it for you. If you would prefer to not have these publicly viewable, you can hide them from being linked and displayed from your user profile. You must register and login to your account on Dine Here to use this feature.
July 6th, 2011 - 2:30 PT - We just updated the website to add a few minor features and fix some bugs. You may notice that restaurant pages now have Google's +1 button below the ratings box. Feel free to +1 your favourite restaurants!
Unfortunately, the update introduced a bug preventing Facebook commenting after you like a restaurant but this should be fixed soon. We are working on another big update and its not too late to get your feature requests in!
June 29th, 2011 - Noon PT - We just performed an emergency update to the website to fix a Facebook bug.
We are also working on a pretty big update to Dine Here that includes a bunch of new features. Its not too late to get your feature requests in.
April 14th, 2011 - 9AM PT - We just made a tweak to our useful rating to put more emphasis on the recency of the review. Hopefully this should make the default display of reviews on restaurants more "useful" for readers.
Search Improvements and Share Links
Feb 20th, 2011 - 6am PT - We just finished another round of minor updates to the site including improving the search to be more flexible in finding restaurants. We also added share links to all restaurant detail pages to integrate the site with Facebook and Twitter. (Look above the rating on the top right hand side of restaurant detail pages.)
Dec 14, 2010 - 1am PT - We are just wrapping an update to the website which is mostly "under the hood" changes. However, we have made a few improvements to the website:
- You can now sort reviews on any restaurant page. By default, they will be sorted by how useful a review is. This is a fairly simple ranking algorithm based on review recency, helpful ranking and the number of reviews by the reviewer. It is heavily skewed towards recency while we optimize the calculation. You can also sort by date (this is how its always been), # of reviews by the reviewer and helpful rating.
- We have added streetview to the map. Click on the streetview link under the map to see Google's streetview perspective. When in streetview, click on the full screen link in the top right corner to browse around that block in full screen mode.
Dec 1, 2010 - 2am PT - We just completed a big update to our infrastructure and the website. You may notice that webpages are loading considerably faster. We have spent a lot of time trying to make the site as fast as possible through both server and website optimizations.
We also added a new feature where you can rate every review on whether its helpful or not. In the coming days, we will be adding a sort feature so you can view reviews for a restaurant that people found helpful. This should assist you in finding the most valuable reviews on any given restaurant.
Coincidentally, its also the one year anniversary of our new website. We hope that you like the new updates we put live!
Cuisine Term Consolidation
Nov 5, 2010 - 2am PT - We just completed consolidating all of the cuisine terms on Dine Here. Cuisines such as Pub/brewery have been split apart to separate terms (Pub, Brewery) and all restaurants have hopefully been marked appropriately. If you noticed anything off, please let us know or better yet, edit the restaurant and fix it.
Enhanced Search Results and Restaurant Listings
Oct 14, 2010 - 2am PT - We just completed an upgrade that enhanced the search results and restaurant listings pages. On the search results, we now display restaurant links including website, email, inspection reports, online reservations, etc. On the restaurant listings page, we have embedded all these links in the content area so they are easier to find. As well we have reformatted the images and added a brief twitter feed for the restaurant if its available.
Oct 1, 2010 - 12pm PT - We made a small change to the top menus so that they they only display when clicked on, not hovered over with your mouse. To change your location, click on the city name or down arrow and select the new location from the menu. If you are logged in, click on your username (top right) and select a user action from the menu which will vary depending on what page you are on.
Special Characters and IE6
Sept 2, 2010 - 4pm PT - We performed a minor update this afternoon fixing a special character issue. Dine Here will now display special characters (such as this Hotluck example) correctly. We allow the native language of a restaurant name to be inserted after the English name so hopefully this is done more often now that this issue is fixed.
We officially have stopped supporting Internet Explorer 6 as of September 1, 2010. Although most of the website should function in IE6, we encourage users to upgrade their browser if not just for the added security enhancements of a newer browser.
Aug 25th, 2010 - 10:30AM PT - We have just completed another update that adds review types to Dine Here. All reviews must specify what type of review it is: Dine in, Takeout, Delivery or Catering. The latter three will not be required (or allowed) to rate ambiance and the overall rating will be simply based on food, service and value for that review and ambiance will not be included.
Aug 17th, 2010 - 8:30am PT - We have just completed a minor update that addresses a few bugs in the system. As well, we are now displaying Twitter and Facebook links for all restaurants.
June 22nd, 2010 - 5pm PT - We have added a couple new restaurant classifications: Ocean Wise and cheap eats. Click on the advanced tab when performing searches and you can find them in the features section under the options tab.
- Ocean wise restaurants are certified by the Ocean Wise program
- Cheap eats are restaurants that have regular menu items for under $10 for lunch or dinner
Twitter Giveaway Over
June 22nd, 2010 - 2pm PT - The Twitter giveaway is complete after reaching our milestone of 250 followers. Congratulations to the tweeps who got the BUYATAB.com gift card and Dine Here t-shirts:
Thanks to BUYATAB.com and everyone who retweeted us!
$50 Gift Card Twitter Giveaway and two Dine Here T-Shirts!
June 18th, 2010 - 12:30pm PT - We are adding two Dine Here t-shirts to sweeten the giveaway even more so your chances to get some free stuff just tripled. We would love to get this stuff out the door today or tomorrow so re-tweet! We only have 14 followers to go. Read below for more details.
$50 Gift Card Twitter Giveaway
June 17th, 2010 - 2pm PT - We are giving away a $50 restaurant gift card (from BUYATAB.com) for the restaurant of your choice to one of Dine Here's twitter followers!
To be eligible, all you have to do is follow Dine Here on twitter. As soon as we reach 250 followers, we will randomly select one of Dine Here's twitter followers and send them the gift card. It's as simple as that.
Retweet this to your friends, the sooner we get 250 followers, the sooner we will give away the $50 gift certificate. Dine Here is at 224 followers right now so this should easy!
BUYATAB.com is a leading provider in restaurant gift card solutions supporting many popular restaurants including Hamilton Street Grill, Lift, R.TL and many more.
May 25th, 2010 1 AM PT - We just completed a minor update with mostly cosmetic enhancements. You might notice that all the descriptors such as buffet, Kitsilano, or Delivery are now links on both search engine results and on restaurant listings. The restaurant's postal code is also a link to a postal code search to display all restaurants in the area that can be filtered or sorted as you please.
Latest Developments at Dine Here
May 9th, 2010 1 PT - Its been a while since we posted anything here so here is an update. We are working on a ton of stuff here at Dine Here and here are a few things:
- Performance optimizations - we have a bunch of optimizations being tested that should considerably improve the website page loading times.
- Now on Twitter and Facebook - follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook to get the latest updates. We will be announcing restaurant news, openings and closures there.
- Feedback - please continue to send your feedback. We have made a bunch of improvements on the site searching and have some more optimizations planned. If you have any suggestions, please let us know.
February 11th, 2010 1 AM PT - We have just put live the latest update to Dine Here. The first big change is location selection and a new top menu bar in the header. The home page will display only reviews and restaurants for Metro Vancouver. To view reviews or restaurant in cities outside of Metro Vancouver, change your location using the location drop down menu.
To view the new search options, simply click the options link in the search portion of the header. This will give you two new sub options to choose from: Locations and Cuisines. If you are looking at a specific city, the locations will display all the Neighbourhoods that are associated with the restaurants in that city. If your location is "Metro Vancouver" then you will see the cities in that region, not neighbourhoods. The search results will now default to 20 restaurants per page (from 10) with an option to select up to 50.
Please keep in mind that we still need to optimize this update to determine the best way of what searching options to show by default; this will be done in the coming days. As well, the neighbourhoods for restaurants outside of Vancouver are gradually being updated over time so some cities may have a lack of 'hoods as search options.
February 10th, 2010 2:10PM PT - We have finally completed development and testing of the new search functionality. The new features include searching by multiple cities, neighbourhoods and cuisines. Neighbourhoods have been expanded to all cities, not just Vancouver. Keep in mind that we are updating these on the fly so not all restaurants outside of Vancouver have restaurants unless they have been added or updated after December 1, 2009.
By default, there will be 20 search results displayed instead of 10 and this can be increased to 50. As well, there will be a location selector that controls what city you want to focus on. By default, the homepage will be Metro Vancouver which includes Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, etc. but this can be drilled down to a specific city or changed to a city outside Metro Vancouver.
We are planning to perform some maintenance either tonight around midnight or tomorrow morning and we will include this upgrade at that time. Hopefully everyone is happy with the changes that are imminent.
January 22th, 2010 10:15 AM PT - We just upgraded our server to one with more horsepower so hopefully this should help cope with some of the sluggish site performance. We still have a site update in the works to address many of the searching issues but it was delayed so that we could improve the hardware first. More to come next week...
Scheduled Maintenance on Tuesday January 19th at 9 AM
January 18th, 2010 5 PM PT - We are planning a maintenance period tomorrow morning (Tuesday January 19th) at 9am. We will be upgrading the server and expect to be down for about an hour or less.
January 15th, 2010 1 PM PT - The site was down this morning due to a system failure. We were able to recover all the data except for a few reviews which will be re-added shortly. We apologize for the inconvenience.
January 4th, 2010 11:30 AM PT - We have a planned maintenance period tonight from 11PM - Midnight. The site will be brought down to perform a cosmetic update to reviews on the front, restaurant and user pages.
December 23, 2009 Noon PT - Unfortunately, we did not complete the update we are working on that addresses many current issues with the site. It has been put on hold for the Christmas break and we will continue working on it on Monday. Here is what is under development:
- Truncated Reviews - New summary view for the review pages on the home and city pages that will simply list the restaurant information, review title, user and overall rating. To view the full details including all the ratings and review text, you can click on the review title.
- Overhauled search - We are doing a significant reimplementation of the search which will allow you to search by multiple cities, cuisines and neighbourhoods in one single search. We will also increase the results per page and provide the ability to change this as part of the search options.
There will be some other minor updates but the above features will be the main focus on this update. Merry Christmas!
Thursday Night Maintenance
December 17, 2009 8:00 PM PT - The site will be down tonight at 11:30pm PT for about a half an hour to optimize the website some more. Due to page caching issues, we have changed the date format to simply display the date the review was submitted rather than how long ago.
Maintenance on Monday at Midnight
December 14, 2009 5:00 PM PT - We will be going offline tonight for about 20 minutes or so at midnight. We will be updating the site to fix a number of bug and optimize the searching. There will be no visible improvements other than speed increases and some link corrections.
Maintenance Tonight at Midnight
December 8, 2009 5:00 PM PT - We will be going offline tonight for about half an hour or so at midnight. We will be updating the site to fix a number of bugs.
Due to some issues with URL conflicts, we were forced to change the URLs for user profile pages to http://dinehere.ca/profile/username. If you have linked to a user profile page you will need to update your links.
December 7, 2009 2:00 AM PT - Unfortunately there were issues performing the database upgrade so we have rescheduled this to try again tomorrow night. The maintenance period will be on Tuesday from 12AM - 2AM.
Yet Another Update
December 4, 2009 5:15 PM PT - We will be performing a database upgrade at midnight on Sunday (Monday morning) to fix some of the performance issues experienced on the website. Hopefully this upgrade combined with a website update planned on Tuesday morning will improve website performance. It will also include some minor enhancements to the website to address a few of the usability issues.
December 3, 2009 1:30 PM PT - Here is what we are working on right now:
- Performance issues - We made some improvements yesterday and we have some more optimizations planned for tonight to help cope with Friday's usual heavy traffic load.
- Neighbourhood searching - Unfortunately, this was removed from the website when we launched the new version due to technical issues. This will be re-added soon. Until then, try entering a postal code for the location to find all the restaurants near that location.
- Front page - We will be making some modifications to the homepage that will display the reviews in truncated format so that people don't have to scroll much. Look for this to be added soon.
We request your patience while we transition to the new website. We will be actively developing improvements based on your feedback so feel free to contact us.
December 2, 2009 1 PM PT - Thank you everyone for all the excellent feedback. Based on all the feedback, we will be making a change to the reviews on the home page and city pages to only show the summary information. If you click on the review, you can view it in its entirety or be sent to the review on the restaurant page. Please keep sending us feedback as we will be compiling everyone's thoughts and using that for our next major update.
We have been working around the clock to improve the performance of the website and it should be noticeably faster now but we still have more work to do. More to come...
New Website Update
December 1, 2009 9:20 PM PT - We've made some improvements to the web page loading times. The site seems to be running much faster but we are going to continue to look at ways to improve the site performance. More to come...
December 1, 2009 - We just launched our new website today. We have a lot of work still to do. Here are some of the things you can expect in the immediate future:
- Improved website loading times
- Re-adding "previous reviews" - reviews where a user submitted a more recent review for a restaurant are not being displayed right now.
- Re-adding the ability to search by neighbourhod; in the meantime try searching by postal code
- Prioritizing new features based on your feedback - send us an email and tell us what you want next
Please send us your feedback!
November 15th, 2009 - We are now on Twitter.
Fast Food Chains
September 15th, 2009 - We are actively filtering out fast food chains. We were hoping to have already upgraded to the new web site (which has this feature) but its going to be another week or two until that happens. In the meantime, have decided to filter out fast food chains on the existing site unless you specifically select the "Fast Food" cuisine in your searches. This is going to skew restaurant counts so you may notice that they are different.
Happy Canada Day!
July 1, 2009 - We've added a new cuisine for hot pot.
June 20, 2009 - We've added a new cuisine for Shanghainese and Szechuan food. Keep the feedback coming.
June 15, 2009 - We've added a new cuisine for salad. Thanks for the continuing feedback from everyone who has sent us an email. Do you have a comment or would you like to see something new on Dine Here? Drop us a line!
May 18, 2009 - We've added Fish & Chips to our list of cuisines. We have added several cuisines in the last 6 months including Coffee, Crepes, Chicken, Bubble Tea, Izakaya, Singaporean and Pita.
Inspection Reports Follow Up
May 1, 2009 - 2PM - We have created an inspection reports help page to explain the food inspection reports being listed for each restaurant and how to find the "health code" so that it can be included in the restaurant information when adding or updating a restaurant.
April 30th, 2009 - Noon - We are experimenting with adding Vancouver Coastal Health inspection reports. You may see a blue icon under the map icon called Reports which links to inspection reports from VCH. If you have feedback on this, please let us know.
Cambie Street Neighbourhood
April 29th, 2009 - 3PM - We've added a new neighbourhood in Vancouver called Cambie Street. Welcome back!
April 24th, 2009 - 1PM - We've added an email link for all restaurant listings that contain an email address.
More Restaurant Information
April 23th, 2009 - 2PM - We've added new metadata to all restaurants such as what type of service they offer, meals served and other features including view, television, AYCE, etc. We will be frantically trying to update this information but we need your help. There is a "Suggest changes" link on every restaurant listing just under the average rating. Please use this link to update any restaurants you are familiar with. Once most of the restaurants have been updated, we will add searching capabilities for this new information.
New Cities and More Restaurant Details Coming Soon
April 21th, 2009 - 10:00AM - We've added two new cities: Chilliwack and Mission. If you are familiar with these cities, give us a hand by adding some new restaurants. We are also working on an update that will add more information to each restaurant including:
- Type of services offered: Waitstaff, Takeout, Delivery, Banquets, Catering
- Features: View, Television, Patio, Wheelchair accessible, Romantic, Live Entertainment, Fine Dining
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, All day brunch, Late Night / 24 Hours, All you can eat (AYCE) / Buffet
We will be adding this in the next few days. Once the site has collected this data for a while, we will add the ability to search on this information as well. This new information is in preparation for the new web site so that restaurant data is more complete.
April 17th, 2009 - 4:20PM - We've added the ability for registered users to report reviews that do no meet our review guidelines. There is a button under each review's ratings labelled "Report" that will take you to the report review form.
April 13th, 2009 - 4PM - We've cleaned up the links for each restaurant and have added some icons to make this a little easier to read.
March 31th, 2009 - 4PM - We are experimenting with online reservations by linking to OpenTable. You might notice an Reserve Online link in the links section on some restaurant listings. This is only currently available on a couple hundred restaurants in Metro Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler. (View examples here and here.) If you have any feedback about OpenTable's service, please contact us.
March 30th, 2009 - 6PM - We are experimenting with online ordering by linking to YummyWeb. You might notice an Order Online link in the links section on some restaurant listings. This is only currently available on a couple hundred restaurants in Metro Vancouver. (View examples here and here.) If you have any feedback about YummyWeb's service, please contact us.
March 25th, 2009 - 11:00PM - We have added a restaurant tracker so that you can see all the new restaurants that are added to Dine Here.
New City Added
March 5th, 2009 - 10:00PM - We added a new city today: Abbotsford. Please help us if you live or are familiar with the area by adding some restaurants. We appreciate all the feedback you send so please keep it coming.
Request for Comments
June 6th, 2008 - 8:30 AM - We released an update earlier this week to enhance Dine Here including the much needed value rating. Most of the other enhancements you don't see but serve to make Dine Here better such as improved moderation tools and performance enhancements. We would like to do another update while we continue to work on the new web site and are requesting feedback from you on what we should do.
What features would you like to see added to Dine Here? What do you think Dine Here does well or doesn't do very well? We want to improve the site and need your feedback. Please tell us what you think.
June 4th, 2008 - 11:15 AM - We have updated the review guide and have added a Frequently Asked Questions page. We hope this will clear up questions you may have as to why reviews are removed and how to write a good review. Please let us know if you have any comments.
Latest on Move
June 3rd, 2008 - 3:50 PM - They finally restored connectivity to our old data centre so we can at least redirect users to our new server and you can access Dine Here. We may lose this ability so if you are having trouble accessing the site, use www.dinehere.com instead of www.dinehere.ca and it should work. We hope to have this issue straightened out soon and prevent future interruptions.
Dine Here Move
June 3rd, 2008 - 12:30 AM - We had to perform an emergency move at midnight on June 3rd. As we were moving, we lost connectivity to our old data centre and there were some complications. (The same data centre where there was a huge explosion a few days ago.) We *think* we have the kinks worked out but please keep your eye open for problems and let us know if you spot anything. We couldn't do a graceful forward so some users may be getting timeout errors. This issue should be resolved in the next few hours.
You may notice the new rating system including the value rating. The overall rating is no longer user submitted and is instead an average of food, service, value and ambiance. As well, please take a moment to read our updated review guide.
Dine Here is Back...
June 2nd, 2008 - 3:00 PM - Since Saturday, Dine Here was unavailable due to an electrical explosion at our data centre destroying three walls and knocking out the power. Luckily, no servers were damaged and no people were injured. The site was restored Monday afternoon after about 48 hours of downtime.